What are the Benefits of an IP PBX?
An IP PBX Phone System has a number of benefits.
Ease of Installation and Configuration
A traditional PBX is composed of proprietary hardware and software management tools. These tools are typically managed over a serial or console cable, and each vendor has different tools for this. This means that, once you have committed to a traditional system, you are bound to their professional services, and the vendor can, and will, charge premium prices for the service simply because the customer has no alternative service provider to go to.
An IP-PBX, on the other hand, is a software-based solution. This automatically means that it is much easier to install and configure, because a system administrator is presented a familiar installation and configuration process.
Ease of Management
Most IP-PBX solutions provide a web-based configuration interface. The obvious benefit to this is that the system administrator has access to the configuration of the system – the configuration tools are no longer hidden away from the system administrator, allowing him to make the changes himself if he so desires.
IP-Based Means IP Network
Every telephone system needs to have wiring to connect phones to the PBX. But here is the point of an IP-PBX – your office ALREADY has the wiring, because your phones and IP-PBX run on the same wiring that your corporate network is already using. And again, your system administrator already knows how his LAN network is wired into the network cabinet – the phones are simply additional network devices just like any computer on the LAN.
This also means that a user can easily move his operations from one desk to another within the office. As long as the network wall sockets are connected to the network cabinet, all he needs to do is unplug his phone from the network wall socket, take the phone to his new work location, and plug the phone back into the network wall socket at his new work location. The configuration of the phone does not need to change, and the extension number also does not need to change – it will just work.
Receive and Make calls Anywhere, Everywhere
The SIP protocol is an IP-based protocol, and SIP softphones are now available for any smartphone. This transforms your smartphone into an extension on the corporate IP-PBX, so as long as your phone has IP connectivity, it can talk to the IP-PBX – from a coffee shop, from a hotel room, from an airport lounge, from a yacht marina. Be connected – anywhere, everywhere!
You can interface a regular land line to an IP-PBX, using a gateway device. But you have an IP-PBX now – you don’t need to do this any more. Or better phrased, you are no longer at the mercy of your regular telco.
You can use the services of a VoIP Provider – because a VoIP Provider is a telco that can deliver telephony over the internet. So the perfect marriage between IP-PBX and VoIP Provider can be arranged with a very simple ceremony – and the ceremony is called “number porting”. And the benefits of the marriage are immediately visible in the form of reduced call costs. Why? Because land-line telcos have been overcharging for telephony since the first “Hello”.
This is why VoIP is sometimes considered a “disruptive” technology – it breaks the traditional telco’s model, by removing their position of control on the relationship. This becomes possible because you can now “shop around” for better rates for your call minutes, which VoIP Providers can do because they do not need to justify a wired telephone network running above and below ground.
Compliance with SIP Standards Eliminates Vendor Lock-In
Today’s mainstream SIP-based deskphones improves your return on investment. If you need to change from one IP-PBX to another, your phones are still usable – this is because the phones talk a universal language called SIP.
Scalability – No Limits
A traditional PBX was essentially a hardware device sitting in some corner of your office. It would have a number of empty “slots” to add hardware capacity to your system. Each “slot” would allow you to add “x” number of extensions or “y” number of lines. Once the “slots” were full, you would have reached the limit, and the search for a new telephone system would start – but NOT before you find the money to replace it!
An IP-PBX does not suffer from this limitation, because software does not have a limited number of “slots”. If the computer it runs on has the horsepower, you can scale upwards at will. Most commercial IP-PBXs permit this by the simple mechanism of updating the licence parameters assigned to the system – no need to touch anything on the system.
Reporting and Monitoring
Again, the power of software-based solutions really shines through on the reporting and monitoring functions. For the IP-PBX vendor, extracting data from the call records is a relatively simple task. If a reporting feature is requested by the vendor’s user base, then a new report can be provided simply by way of a system update. Live monitoring of activity on the system is another great bonus which web-based management brings to us.
Still curious? More IP PBX benefits…